Let me begin by saying that people judge you all the time. They judge you when you are talking, walking, dancing, writing, reading, doing something and when you are not doing something. So obviously, how can they miss your online persona? How you portray yourself on the numerous social networking sites that you are attached to decides the number of comments and likes you receive. You may not even care about them, but you receive them anyway.
A first-rate solution would be to stop having any connection to the internet, except for the basic bill payments, advance booking, great deals and research and information. But that doesn’t stop anyone from judging you. In fact, that’s another added thing they will judge you on. It’s like life is a reality show you are an unwilling part of and these people are the unwanted judges.
So, the next solution to this problem of being judged is to be careful. I know you may be carefree. You may not heed all the stupidity happening around you. But what’s the harm in being careful?
Last year, I learnt my lesson the hard way. I had posted a few beautiful lines about having a very bad day at work.
“One of those rare days when your beautifully sculpted mask falls off and you have no one to blame but yourself.”
I had compared that day to having the ‘mask’ that you wear falling off at inopportune times. A cousin commented on the same, asking me to seek her as she was ‘only a call away’. I didn’t have her number, wasn’t close to her and found the comment stupid. I ignored the comment.
Somehow, the next time she met my parents, she informed them ‘that their daughter does weird stuff online’. This just served to freak my mother out. She came home demanding me to show her my online activities, worried that my cousin might be right. I just got majorly pissed off. What was wrong with my cousin? I was stupid enough to accept her friend request. I went ahead and blocked her and a couple of other people. But I don’t think the ‘block’ remains for long, I noticed them ‘liking’ and ‘commenting’ on my posts. How were they even receiving them?
The result of this unfortunate experience was that I stopped accepting friend requests and thought twice before posting anything anywhere. It was painful in the beginning but it’s a lot easier now.
I am still suffering from the repercussions. My mother is no longer as trusting as she was, even though she didn’t find anything wrong with my online activities. But she did make a valid point, “We cannot predict or control the way other people react or interpret what you write, post or share. Maybe your cousin was praising you, but I got it wrong.” True that. (Though I don’t think my cousin was praising me and I doubt my mother gets anything wrong.) So let’s be more careful. You’d think I had posted pictures of myself in sexy lingerie, though there’s nothing wrong in that. It’s my body and if I’m confident enough to post pictures, then so be it. But I’m definitely not prepared for the reactions. If such a beautiful statement (I thought it was particularly good, what with me wanting to become a writer) can become a big issue, then anything can happen in this world.
There have so many times that I haven’t uploaded a particular status, afraid of the various reactions. But I guess, I can write them here, as hardly anyone reads my blog. This is pretty much a safe online way of expressing myself. In case you are wondering, then yes, I actually wrote these status’s down before I forget them.
- ‘Have you seen Jacqueline Fernandez’s legs in ‘Sau Tarah Ke’? Does anyone agree that she looks insanely hot? So much so that I barely noticed John and Varun? Kaavya Patel, I know you would agree.’
: A girl crushing on another girl. I don’t think it’s that acceptable yet.
- ‘I know that the world doesn’t revolve around me. But I sometimes wish it did.’
: This is pretty self-explanatory.
- ‘You have exhausted you net pack. HOW I HATE THESE WORDS!’
: The whole world (my odd 400 or so friends) does not need to know how fast I go through my allotted net pack. My brother knowing it is enough.
- ‘Listening to this sexy track’
: I have already put this one up, just in a different variation of words, unfortunately, ‘SEXY’ remained. I realized quite belatedly that I have kids that I teach as my ‘Friends’. NOT. GOOD.
- ‘How can this guy, ____________ (insert celebrity’s name) be so hot?’
: Same reason: kids.
Also, my family and friends judge me for crushing on guys’ way beyond my league.
- ‘Reading this masterpiece: Insert Book’s Name’
: Apart from the comments trolling your choice of masterpiece, you also get people saying, “You and your books.” Cue eye roll.
- ‘Watching this movie at this theatre, this seat with this group of friends or friend.’
: I am simply not comfortable letting others know my exact location and activity.
- ‘People treat you like SHIT all the time. It’s up to you whether you let them or no.’
: Easier said than done.
- I HATE MY ____________ (life, parents, work, etc.)
: People like knowing about the ‘GOOD’ parts of your life. Chances are they are not going to respond, call up the person you claim to hate and bitch about you, or be sympathetic. Basically, don’t put it out there.
- ‘Missing my old life. Want a better one.’
: My father retired recently. And we have shifted homes. I am finding it difficult to adjust to the new place, the elongated travel time and many other things. But ADJUSTMENT should be a woman’s middle name, right? I will be judged on my inability to like it, and I will be judged about complaining about it online and the major part who don’t know what I am talking about will judge me and my life.
Who wants the hassle of unwanted attention? Write these words in your personal diary or on a blog that no one reads.
Oh wait. That’s what I am doing.